math gnomes and watercolour notebooks

After an inspiring chat with Becca about her math gnomes I decided that we had to have these for our summer learning games!

There are so many adorable versions of these little guys shown all over the web (like here),  however, I decided that I really should use some of the materials that I eagerly buy for projects like these, and make a set myself.

So, I modified my wee witch pattern and they came together quite quickly.  I'm sure many of you have made these yourself but for those of you who haven't...

For one gnome you'll need:
2 colours of felt
Wood peg person
2 colours of embroidery floss
embroidery needle
paint (eye colour of your choice)
paint brush
 For the king: use the cape and body pattern and then cut the crown free hand.

For the gnomes: cut 2 body patterns and a hat.

For the body: blanket stitch the bottom with 4 strands of embroidery floss, then using 2 strands embroider the math symbol on the 'stomach'.

For the cape: blanket stitch around the edge.
For the hat: just along the bottom.

Sew or blanket stitch the body onto the gnome. (or you could glue it)

I decided to embroider tiny math symbols all over the hat (optional) then fold it over and blanket stitch the back closed.

Sew the cape on with a few stitches at the neck. 

Glue on the hat.  Dip the paintbrush handle into some paint and dab two eyes.

 And then I made some really quick notebooks for the kids to use with the gnomes. 

 I used two of my husband's Waldorf school paintings (thankfully his mother kept everything!)

 Because the back of the paintings had a bit of paint on it I glued on a sheet of coordinating paper.

Fold all the sheets in half and staple on the fold.

 *note:  I used this kind of stapler.

Open up the stapler and staple down on the carpet (or something thick and squishy).  Then bend down the staple points to close the staple.


Now we're all ready for some FUN learning!

I highly recommend checking out Becca's shop MamaWestWind for her woodburned gnomes and wool sewn creations.  She is truly amazing with a woodburner and chooses such lovely colours and finishes!  Perfect for the nature table too!

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!
~ joey ~ 
**edit -  As I mentioned, these adorable math gnomes are totally new to me and after reading more about them I have learned that I have the colours all wrong!  This is so like me, jumping in before reading the instructions!  Actually it's just a fluke that I even have the correct colours, I just used supplies that I had on hand! ;o)
So now I have an excuse to make another set!  Yippee! 
If you like to follow tradition the colours should be: 
plus - green
minus -blue
multiply - yellow
divide - red
King equals - purple
(well 1/5 isn't a great score, but it may make a funny math lesson?!)
~ joey ~


  1. I didn't know about the Maths gnomes (I don't know much about Waldorf, for the moment). But I am definitely doing some for my daughter!!

    1. I had seen the math gnomes before but never understood how they worked until Becca explained it to me. The concept is genius! And they are so fun to make too! We're going to use glass pebbles for counting out the numbers so I'm making a bag for them tonight.
      Glad you popped by Cris!
      ~joey ~

  2. They came out beautifully! Thanks for mentioning my shop!


  3. I love these! We're starting up first grade in the fall so I'll be needing to make a set myself. love the notebooks, too.

    1. Hi Julie!
      Isn't it great when something so fun for Mama to make ends up being educational too?!
      I know you'll enjoy making them, please post photos when you have!
      ~ joey ~

  4. These are so beautiful, thank you so much for your lovely tutorial and for joining Creative Friday.
    Warm regards

    1. Thank you Linda for bringing so many creative people together for Creative Friday! I find it so inspirational!
      ~ joey ~


I really enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas about the posts that I write here. It's nice to just say hi too!
~ joey ~